This week’s AR is proud to document recognition for one of our coaches. Bruce Kuklinski has supported rugby on the Island and beyond for many years and is an internationally recognized referee. This past week, the Grade 7/8 rugby squad took home the “Kuklinski Trophy” — named in honour of Bruce’s hard work and dedication to the sport — at the Lower Island Jamboree at SMUS. Congratulations Bruce and our Middle School rugby teams!
Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski
Middle School spring 7-aside rugby hosted the Lower Island jamborees for Grade 6/7 and Grade 7/8 this past week, playing under warm and sunny skies. Fourteen schools and 20 teams competed in the Grade 6/7 jamboree, with SMUS fielding two teams. The main side finished on top among the Lower Island teams, making the final against the visiting team from Abbotsford, whose size proved to be just a little too much.
The second side had some wins and some losses, but showed many signs of positive development from the beginning of the season. Overall, both teams played very well, and with great courage against often much larger opposition, with the emphasis on ball handling skills clearly to the fore. Numerous players performed very well on the day, with Aidan Kerr, Matthew Hagkull, Ephraim Hsu, Ethan Ko, Nic Papaloukas and Nic Strandberg especially standing out. The Grade 6/7 team rounds out their season with a trip to the ISEA tournament in Vancouver on Tuesday May 14th.
The Grade 7/8 team ended their season two days later as one of 13 teams competing in the Grade 7/8 jamboree. The team went through pool play unbeaten but knew their games against the other pool winners would be far more challenging. The first of these was against Monterey, a physical and robust side, but the Grade 7/8 teams understanding of the game, tackling and ball-handling skills won out. The final game of the day was against Bayside, who had earlier beaten Monterey. Bayside began the stronger, scoring soon after the kick-off. This spurred SMUS on, as they scored right after and never looked back, scoring a number of tries, with all 12 members of the team getting plenty of playing time. On the day, the play of Bryn Haydock, Jonathan Sudul and Jasper Bosley led the way with several others also playing well. The team was presented with the “Kuklinski Trophy” as Grade 8 Lower Island rugby champions.
by Melanie Masson, head coach
The SMUS volleyball program played host to a crew of very excited and talented Grade 5 students from the Junior School for a fun filled Volleyball Playday. Members of both the Senior and Junior girls volleyball teams were present, acting as coaches and teammates and giving these Grade 5 students the chance to play along side our very own SMUS Volleyball Blue Jags.
It was a fun-filled event for all, a little bit of learning, a lot of playing volleyball and a chance for our SMUS Volleyball Program to give back to our sport and the community. We look forward to seeing some of these keen faces in the gym this fall cheering on the Senior and Junior girls volleyball teams. With the talent and energy these youngsters brought to the court, we are excited for the future of the program! VIVAT!
by John Edgar
The high school golf season is a fleeting affair. Starting almost immediately following spring break and finishing before the end of May, it sometimes feels like it’s over just once it’s gotten going.
Our first “event” of the season was a “seeding” tournament at Cordova Bay Golf Course which had Simon Hassel leading the way with an impressive round of 75. This year’s team is looking somewhat young and inexperienced but nevertheless keen and enthusiastic. One exciting addition this year is the prospect of possibly having four female students participating!
The first tourney of the year was the following week on the lower mainland hosted by the Delta Police and featuring teams from the lower mainland, northern BC, and Vancouver Island and saw a squad of Simon Hassel, Leif Skogland, Lawrence Berardelli, Bryce Fenton and Billy Cheng making the trip to represent the school. The two-round tournament was played at two impressive, and yet very different, style courses. The first was King’s Links — adjacent to Boundary Bay in Delta — and the Ridge Course at Northview in Surrey, former home of the now defunct Air Canada Championship on the PGA tour.
The first round at King’s Links began in beautiful sunshine, a one-club wind and (with the exception of a 20-minute apoplectic storm that blew through) was quite pleasant. Leif Skogland was the SMUS standout posting a solid round of 77 but the team result was well down the leaderboard. Day two at Northview was an early morning start with no wind and much warmer temperatures as the round wore on which made for decent scoring conditions. Unfortunately, the team wasn’t as hot as the weather and day two’s scoring was a little higher than day one and resulted in a bottom third of the field result. The quality of the competition was excellent with four rounds of 68 being posted over the two-day tourney.
The next week it was back on the ferry and over to Morgan Creek Golf Course in Surrey for the Independent School Association tourney hosted by Southridge School. Morgan Creek is an excellent course just a few minutes from Southridge School in South Surrey. With the tourney being on a Monday, and only one member of the team having played the course before, it was decided to travel over a day early and play a practice round along with Shawnigan Lake School. For this tournament, the squad consisted of Simon Hassel, Lawrence Berardelli, Billy Cheng, Christina Sipos and Emily Cuell. The tournament round was played under an official “wind warning” from Environment Canada so needless to say it was windy. I think it’s fair to say that if the greens were a little quicker and not recovering from recent aeration it might have proven to be too windy to play. Overall scores were high and the SMUS squad was no exception. As with the previous week’s tourney, the effort was strong but the result was somewhat disappointing. To be fair, the squad is young and somewhat inexperienced and these experiences bode well for the future.
Next up, it’s the two round Victoria Police tourney at Olympic View GC.
Until then, a quote from SMUS golfing legend IHL, “Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five”.
Senior and Junior Rugby
The 2013 Alumni Weekend featured one new and very special event, when a number of former SMUS rugby greats hosted this year’s 1st XV and coaches for dinner and various presentations.
The event took place in downtown Victoria, at the Temple Restaraunt, on the eve of the Alumni Day match vs Oak Bay.
The eighteen grads in attendance included such rugby luminaries as Bobby Ross ’87, John Graf ’87 and Ed Fairhurst ’97. This distinguished trio combined 170 caps for Canada and attended seven World Cups.
Other fully capped Canadian internationals present were Jeremy Cordle ’91, Robert Card ’93, Mike Danskin ’98 and Jason Penaluna ’91. The remainder, many of whom played for Canada at age grade level, were Chris May ’92, Tom Duke ’90, Brendan Barry ’92, James Stone ’89, Peter Jawl ’07, Dave Jawl ’03, Chris Noel ’98, Damian Grant ’93, Peter Robb ’92, Barnabas Clarke ’88 and Nick Grant ’84.
Following dinner, Ross, Graf and Fairhurst hosted a entertaining and informative Q and A session, fielding all manner of questions from the current players and talking about the importance of team and tradition. Then, in a totally unexpected gesture, the organizers Nick Grant and Cordle produced and presented each SMUS player a special edition white Alumni Weekend jersey.
The positive vibes created by this evening was much in evidence the following afternoon, as the 1st XV, in front of the above mentioned 18 and hundreds of other alumni, performed extremely well in defeating Oak Bay 33-17.